December 21, 2013

Blast-off.

What word originated in the year you were born?

For me, it's blast-off.

Via Metafilter, where folks are a bit younger, since they're getting things like air guitar or downloadable.

"Blast-off" as a noun signifying the launching of a rocket doesn't appear in the NYT archive until March 1952, but there are many instances of the word pair "blast off" before then, mostly to refer to storms — "a blast off the Greenland coast" — and hits in baseball — "a blast off the right-field wall." The 1952 article is titled "'Space Fever' Hits the Small-Fry; If your boy talks gibberish or hisses like a boiler, don't worry -- he's just cosmic."
The hissing represents rocket-ship take-off, and the gibberish is space-ship argot.

In apartment-house elevators, space-talk breaks out in commands like "Blast off!" when a lift starts upward, and "Brake your jets!" as an elevator comes to a landing. On auto rides, small-fry lean out alternate windows shrilling "Blast the port tube!" and "Blow the starboard rocket!"...

The space-conscious don't say "Scram"; They say "Blast off, chum!" They don't call a companion "screwy"; they say "Steady your gyros." A reproof or tongue-lashing draws the remark: "Boy, did I get my tubes scorched!"; and anyone who wanders off the point is told, "You're way out of your orbit."

25 comments:

Tregonsee said...

And for "Calm Down," "Cool Your Jets!"

For me, I get "TV" as the word of my birth year. Sigh.

sinz52 said...

I was born in 1954, and the word that originated that year was:

Nowheresville: An unknown or uninteresting place; limbo

Ron said...

Mine is Photocall.

Meh!

St. George said...

Lift off--blast off's replacement, a classic and utterly successful example of Orwellian linguistic brainwashing.

St. George said...

Lift off--blast off's replacement, a classic and utterly successful example of Orwellian linguistic brainwashing.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

For 1979 the word is bagsy. I wasn't born that year however I checked out the term for that year.

People called bagsies back then.

I suspect they got slapped upside their noggin and quit using the overly British therm.

Amexpat said...

"Nitpick" for me. I can't find anything wrong with that.

traditionalguy said...

These are all British culture word creations, not that there is anything wrong with that.

1945 is "mobile phone". Does that mean a walkie-talkie radio for police cars that broadcast to all in an area listening on a frequency band? It certainly was not a cell tower based computer linked relayed phone# to phone# of the 1990s origin.

ironrailsironweights said...

All of mine are in Olde English.

Peter

El Pollo Raylan said...

"Bouffy" (1960) is a thoroughly bouffy word in this list-a-bouffy list.

Beldar said...

I am almost exactly as old as the Space Age, having been born in the few weeks of late 1957 that the first artificial satellite was orbiting the earth.

Obviously my word is "Sputnik."

Jimmy said...

What fun! I'm 1953 and some of mine include "hippie", "pussy-whipped", and "synchronicity".

BTW there is a non-paywall site you can use ... wordorigins.org ... search on your birth year.

Beldar said...

^^^ This, by the way, is my conclusion, made without reference the OED list.

ironrailsironweights said...

I'm 1953 and some of mine include "hippie", "pussy-whipped", and "synchronicity".

Of course pussy-whipped is a tragically obsolete term today. Unless it's by reference to one of those hairless Sphinx cats. God damn it.

Peter

Paddy O said...

I'm as old as "internet".

That makes me feel young!

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Outa my way queue jumpers!

Freeman Hunt said...

Bagsy? Was I born in a parallel universe where people use this word?

MadisonMan said...

Bouffy. Meh.

I like the next year: Chocoholic.

William said...

I'm the bee's knees. You can be so dated as to appear fresh.

readering said...

Very surprised that nitpick is no older than me.

T J Sawyer said...

It's my wife's birth year, 1949.

Edmund C. Berkeley published
Giant Brains, or Machines That Think
which was well-reviewed in the NYT.

The term "Electronic Brain" persisted in the popular press for many years as a result.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I got "mockney." A word I encountered today for the first time. Evidently bogus cockney accents were all the rage in 1967.

Will Cate said...

1960 = "Bouffy"

I am underwhelmed.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Foodie. 1980. Yeah!

Anga2010 said...

1966 = Computernik

Never heard or read that word.